On the outside, workers compensation insurance is pretty simple: if you’re injured or become ill due to work-related activities, workers compensation insurance will kick in and provide coverage for medical and other qualifying costs. It would be nice if things were as cut-and-dry as that, but like many things in life, when workers compensation coverage is and isn’t available for employees is more nuanced. Employees are still entitled to workers compensation coverage if they’re injured doing something off the clock that their employer benefits from. For example, suppose an employee clocks out but before they can exit the building, a customer asks for assistance reaching something off of a high shelf. The employee helps the customer and, in the process of doing so, falls off the ladder and sprains their ankle. The employee would still be eligible for benefits because they were performing duties associated with their job that the employer would benefit from.
Here are a few other areas where employees are eligible for workers compensation insurance that employers may not be aware of:
- Special Missions – When an employee is asked to do something by their employer on their way to or from work, such as stopping at the bank, they’re considered to be on a “special mission.” During these missions, employees are eligible for workers compensation insurance.
- Areas Outside the Workplace that are Controlled by the Employer – These areas are usually going to be sidewalks and parking lots. If an employee slips on the sidewalk controlled by the employer, or is struck in the parking lot, they are eligible for workers compensation benefits.
- On-Call – Employees who work outside of normal business hours on an on-call basis are eligible for workers comp coverage when they’re injured during the course of performing their work duties.
- After-Hours Visits – An employee who isn’t on the clock and isn’t performing work duties but who is on the business’ property with the management’s knowledge and consent is covered by workers compensation insurance if they are injured.